With European elections coming up in May 2019, you probably want to know how the European Union impacts your daily life, before you think about voting. In the latest in a series of posts on what Europe does for you, your family, your business and your wellbeing, we look at what Europe does for defenders of media freedom in accession countries.
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Do you think you should be able to express your opinions without being censored? Do you care about who controls the media in our democracies? If you do, the EU institutions share your views. Freedom of speech is a core value of the European Union. Where the EU can act, it puts programmes to support media freedom in place.
One such programme is the annual Media Pluralism Monitor that surveys risks to media freedom and pluralism across the EU. Conducted by the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, it systematically, objectively and scientifically examines all factors that pose a risk to media freedom. These reports are freely accessible for use by citizens, scientists and policy-makers.
The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), funded by the European Parliament, launched a programme devoted to fighting media freedom violations and helping journalists under threat. It supports investigative reporters, with grants and workshops on a safe digital working environment. The Mapping Media Freedom programme, conducted by ECPMF, and managed by the Index on Censorship and European Federation of Journalists, maps media freedom threats across Europe and tackles them through awareness campaigns, policy recommendations and training.
Viewers can get more than just a national perspective through independent news production, covering EU affairs from a pan-European point of view. An EU programme supports the European Data News Hub and the European Data Journalism Network, which serve as a data and information hub, providing accurate data-driven news.
- Website of the Media Pluralism Monitor at the Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom, http://cmpf.eui.eu/media-pluralism-monitor/
- European Commission’s website on media freedom projects, https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/media-freedom-projects
- Mapping Media Freedom programme, https://mappingmediafreedom.org/#/